The Supreme Court came down heavily on former Uttarakhand forest minister and ex-divisional forest officer for allowing illegal construction and felling of trees in the Corbett tiger reserve. Image for representation purposes only. File

The Supreme Court on March 6 came down heavily on former Uttarakhand Forest Minister and Congress leader Harak Singh Rawat and ex-divisional forest officer Kishan Chand for allowing illegal construction and felling of trees in the Corbett tiger reserve.

This was a case where bureaucrats and politicians had thrown public trust doctrine in the waste bin, said a Bench headed by Justice B.R. Gavai.

The top court directed the Central Bureau of Investigation, which is already probing the case, to file its status report in the matter within three months.

“They [Mr. Rawat and Mr. Chand] have in blatant disregard of the law and for commercial purposes indulged in mass felling of trees to construct buildings in the pretext of promotion of tourism,” the Bench said.

The court said it was amazed at the audacity of Mr. Rawat and Mr. Chand in totally disregarding the statutory provisions.

It also formed a committee to look into whether tiger safaris can be permitted in buffer or fringe areas of national parks in the country.

The Enforcement Directorate had earlier raided the residences of Mr. Rawat and Mr. Chand in connection with illegal construction in the tiger reserve.



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